Source Pravda.Ru

Georgian President welcomes Russian companies' emergence on local energy market

Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze has nothing against the emergence of Unified Energy Systems Co, Russia's electricity giant, on the Georgian energy market. He does not mind either that the company acquire a stake in the Georgian-American AES Telasi power distributing company.

"To the best of my knowledge, talks between AES corporation and Russia's UES are nearing completion. UES President Anatoly Chubais may pay a visit to Tbilisi in the near future," President Shevardnadze has said on the National Radio.

American-owned AES possesses 75% of shares of the Tbilisi-based Telasi company. Tbilisi's mayor's office owns 24% of Telasi shares and the remaining 1% belongs to Telasi employees.

The president then hailed the ITERA international group, which supplies the Georgian capital with natural gas.

"ITERA has performed smoothly. But there is an opportunity to receive gas from another company - Gazprom. ITERA is not able to satisfy Georgia's overall natural gas demand, while Gazprom is. This is the matter of robust competition," said the Georgian leader.

The country's plans for cooperation with Russia's Gazprom are, by no means, in controversy with its obligations under Shah Denis gas project, noted the president.

The project is being worked out at the moment. When completed, it will make the third source of natural gas for Georgia after ITERA and Gazprom, said President Shevardnadze.